Looking Back On Billy Joel And Katie Lee's Divorce

Billy Joel has been married four times thus far. In 2003, nearly a decade after his iconic romance with Christie Brinkley ended, the "Vienna" singer met his third wife, then 21-year-old Katie Lee, who was 33 years younger than him. Although their relationship moved at breakneck speed, it lasted about six years and the couple appeared destined for the long haul. Speaking to Oprah.com, Lee shared that their paths randomly crossed at a bar during a night out with friends. 

The singer-songwriter seemed instantly smitten with the former "Top Chef" host because he took their group out for dinner, where the future couple hit it off over their shared love of food. He tried to take it up a notch by taking the stage for the final two numbers of his Broadway show, "Movin' Out," but it didn't quite impress Lee because she thought it was a standard part of it. But she must've known their connection was special because Lee agreed to marry Joel when he popped the question later that same year. 

They tied the knot in 2004 and announced their split in 2009. Lee and Joel initially led us to believe their considerable age gap worked in the couple's favor. "He has this job that's allowed him to be really immature for a long time — rock star," she reasoned. "And I happen to be more mature for my age." Meanwhile, Joel said, "I would have married her if she was 30 years older than me." However, the opposite was reportedly true. 

Infidelity may have led to Billy Joel and Katie Lee's divorce

Katie Lee and Billy Joel's marriage seemingly rested on shaky ground well before they split. According to the New York Post, Lee was spotted getting far too comfortable with fashion designer Yigal Azrouel in Miami. One onlooker told the outlet that they drew guests' attention by packing on the PDA and made the rumors seem plausible by claiming, "He introduced her to two people as his girlfriend." In April 2009, another source told the New York Post that Lee preferred spending time with Azrouel than Joel, so she stayed closer to her rumored fling. 

The insider disclosed that the "Piano Man" hitmaker decided he'd had enough after she asked him to tag along for one of her events to appear as her loving and supportive husband. But an insider disputed these wild claims to the NY Daily News, clarifying that Azrouel never came in between them. Furthermore, they revealed, "It was really the age difference that caught up with them. They grew apart." The insider continued, "She loves going out [and] the city. When Billy isn't touring, he'd rather be on Long Island with his motorcycles and boats." 

But we finally got Joel's account of their split in Fred Schruers' "Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography." The iconic performer confessed that the breaking point came after he suggested couples therapy to save their marriage. Lee changed the subject to something more mundane, which led him to realize that he should cut his losses and move on. Meanwhile, Lee confirmed to the biographer that she wasn't unfaithful to her hubby. 

Katie Lee got a valuable asset from her Billy Joel divorce

Katie Lee's marriage to Billy Joel wasn't easy on her either. Speaking to New York magazine, in 2009, she acknowledged feeling like a fish out of water for a little bit after she shot to fame because of her romance with the "Honesty" singer. Lee added that she steered clear of searching her name on the internet to protect her peace. The Food Network host also discussed how their commitment to their careers ultimately caused their marriage to fall apart. Nonetheless, she got something good out of it in the end. 

In 2011, the Daily Mail reported that her divorce settlement to Joel included a stunning New York townhouse. According to the publication, Joel had dropped $5.9 million on the property in 2006, but Lee managed to make a nice little profit by selling it for $11.6 million just five years later. While Joel was dining at a restaurant in 2009, his path crossed with his future wife, Alexis Roderick, a now-40-something who once took on Wall Street.

The couple tied the knot in 2015 and welcomed two children together, with their second arriving in 2017, when Joel was 68. The "We Didn't Start The Fire" hitmaker is 33 years older than Roderick. Lee also found new love with TV producer Ryan Biegel, who worked on the first season of her show, "Beach Bites with Katie Lee," and they married in 2018. After struggling with fertility issues, the happy couple welcomed their daughter in 2020.